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What if?

800px-Maslow's_hierarchy_of_needsWhat if the values you hold dear are usurped by your need to generate income, feed your family, your physical desires or are secondary to achieving status?

How do we combat the dehumanisation of what we are exposed to through the media, the way we watch war, destruction and devastation of communities through natural disasters, crime and disconnection? I have been reflecting on ways to continue to be brave in the face of financial deficit, being passionate about finding alternatives to mainstream ideology in business and personal life. It seems to me that the fears of others are projected onto those who dare to try something different, to trust that people will be the best that they can at any given time and to not buy into the mistrust that is perpetuated in society. Having decided to restructure how Urban Woot accepts payment for workshops and salons by offering a pay-what-you-can with a pay the rest forward option I was taken aback by the response I received from someone:

“That is very sweet of you, a really lovely gesture just please make sure you protect yourself!! Have either a visible sign stating the terms of payment or a written ad signed receipt that says how long they have to pay. You know what people are like… So just protect yourself for the worse case scenario, so you don’t end up loosing fate (sic) in humanity…”

This has made me think about how sad it is that ‘you know what people are like’ expects the worst (what is the worst?) in people, some people don’t have the money to pay for things that they would benefit from, why create or add to a situation where people miss out because of money?

 Worst; Noun:

The most serious or unpleasant thing that could happen.

3rd_World_Congress_Art_FinalHaving just returned from the International Positive Psychology Associations World Congress in LA exposed to a fantastic worldwide effort to create a better environment to increase human flourishing. Spending time with researchers who try to understand the complexities of the human experience with the aim of affecting policies, education, work and how we view the world. Amazing practitioners that see the best in people, who do not criminalise the poor, homeless or those who are struggling within the existing systems, contributing to the science of human flourishing. It struck me that what we see is what we get – if we expect the worst, as human beings like to be proved right, that is exactly what we get.

IMG_4247What if we look for the good in people?

Seeking the best in people, accepting them in their entirety, where they are at, acknowledging we all have struggles and inviting the best out through positive regard, strengths finding and positive engagement changes any dynamic. As the temperatures finally reach a summer heat, more people are outside in the green spaces in town, speak to strangers, say ‘hello’, get on the tube and chat to the person sitting near you, expect the best!

Try it and tell me how you get on!

What if we all practiced kindness?

Imagine a world where you knew that if you got lost someone would help you find your way, if you were lonely there would be friendly people to connect with or if yourak were hungry or ill there would be food or health care available? Knowing that your basic needs would be cared for may increase your ability to achieve your full potential, to be your best possible self.

Expect kindness, be kind and practice it everyday – tell me about your experiences!

IMG_5953What if we all expressed deep gratitude in our lives?

Stop for one minute, close your eyes and consider what you are grateful for today? Get in touch with a sense of deep gratitude, have you eaten something nice today? Did you have fresh running water in your home? Do you have shoes on your feet? Have you had a hug today? Embody the gratefulness, re-live the feeling of appreciation, this will increase your sense of well being!

Practice gratitude and tell me about it?

Trying out new perspectives may lead to a more fulfilling life for you, those your love and your community. Make your mood contagious, infect people with kindness, gratitude and be your best possible self.

IMG_5858

Guerrilla Hugs – Downtown, LA

 

Be the change you want to see in the world

Mahatma Ghandi


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